My search for the best falafel in New York continues….

MOSHE'S FALAFEL,  SE Corner of 46th Street and Sixth Avenue, Midtown West

I bring groups by Moshe’s Falafel every Friday during the food cart tours I lead for Turnstile Tours. But we don’t sample the falafel at this cart, instead I point out the uniquely designed structure itself.

Sliding Doors

The actual cart is a brilliant piece of customization. When they had their cart built, they made sure to allow for a back compartment to slide open and closed. This allows them to make the cart more compact when being driven back to the garage and for a roomier work environment when it’s set up in its spot on 46th and 6th Avenue.

As for the falafel, I remember thinking the balls were dry with a dense crunch, but not much else. We discovered some amazingly tender falafel from Kwik Meal (which we taste on the tour), so I’ve never even re-visited Moshe’s aside from marveling at the infrastructure.

Moshe's Line for Falafel

Yet customers always gather around for Moshe’s Israeli-inspired sandwiches. Granted, the Diamond District with its many Hasidic employees is down the block, but it’s not just men with yarmulkes waiting for this food. This is definitely a popular cart for the Midtown masses.

On my recent return, I found the line moved rather quickly and I placed my order for a falafel pita. The guys working the cart seemed a little frustrated with my lack of specification. Did I want fries? A half or a whole? Hot sauce? I said yes to everything. That usually works out well for me.

Falafel Sandwich at MOSHE'S FALAFEL

The first thing that jumped out at me (almot literally) was a large pickle on top of the sandwich.  I liked the sour acidic burst right up front, but I was disappointed that there were no more pickles (or even pickle slices) later on in the sandwich. In fact, the rest of the fillings were rather disappointing. There were a smattering of cucumbers, tomatoes, and iceberg lettuce that added a nice cold crispness. In addition to the generous tahini sauce and hot sauce, Moshe’s added some french fries (in case the fried chickpeas were not enough). Problem was the french fries were a little limp and soft. Didn’t add the texture bursts that were expected.

Falafel at MOSHE'S FALAFEL

But the falafel balls themselves were actually better than I had remembered.  They were not dry, but quite yellowish (unlike the herb-laced dark brown and green ones) and didn’t have much spice or complexity of flavor. These reminded me of a very crunchy (but not sweet) hush puppy. That might encourage Southerners to adopt the chickpea into recipes!

Inside the Falafel at MOSHE'S

Most impressive was the crunch, which continued throughout the falafel. While I didn’t find them dense this time around, there was still a mealiness to the fritter.

The sandwich was filling, of course, and crunchy but I’m still partial to the more refined and tender falafel at Kwik Meal across the street. But I give Moshe’s major points for having the cooler cart.

Does Moshe’s Falafel have the best falafel in NY? It might have the crunchiest and so it gets a 7 out of 10 for that alone, but the mealiness, blandness, and lack of quality pita fillings keep it from higher rankings.

MOSHE’S FALAFEL
Southeast corner of West 46th Street and Sixth Avenue,
Midtown West
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Category: Falafel

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

One Response to THE CART OF FALAFEL (Moshe’s Falafel)

  1. Howard says:

    in israel they frequently ask if you want “chips” on your falafel, chips being the british way of saying “fries.” whether they add anything substantial to the sandwich is debatable, but it’s not something i’ve found here in the states. it’s good to hear that moshe’s offers them, even if they are limp.

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